The prevalence of allergic diseases is increasing worldwide, especially
in low and middle income countries. Allergic diseases comprehend
life-threatening anaphylaxis, food allergies, certain forms of asthma,
rhinitis, conjunctivitis, eczema, angioedema, urticarial, eosinophilic
disorders, drug and insect allergies. The World Allergy Organization estimated
that 20-30% of the world population suffered from some form of allergic disease
in 2003, with the greatest burden for children and young men. One tenth of the
world population suffers for drug allergies and 400 million for rhinitis and
about 250 million are allergic to some kind of food.
Although a lot of research has been conducted to
investigate the mechanisms behind allergic reactions there is still a lack of
knowledge on several fundamental phenomena related to allergy. Here, we propose
the development of an in vitro model which could provide real-time
electrochemical monitoring of degranulation of mast cells triggered by allergic
reactions. Carbon microelectrodes will be fabricated in the Danchip cleanroom.
Mast cells will be cultured on the electrodes and the release of histamine upon
mast cell activation will be studied. The long-term vision is to develop a new
type of allergy test. The project is conducted as a collaboration between DTU
Nanotech and the Allergy Clinic at Gentofte Hospital.